IT’S “20 QUESTIONS WITH CROSS” DAY!
For today’s interview I got a special band! They aren’t new but I’m sure many of y’all got to hear about them and had the chance to check them out for the first time in the En Minor Livestream at the historic Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, which happened on November 25th.
What an Epic artwork that was! But, we will get back to that soon… The band I’m talking about is Spirit In The Room, a pretty special and weird band, based in Los Angeles, California. Here with us today I have Dennis, the man behind it.
Hi Dennis! Thank you for accepting to be part of this interview! As I mentioned, I kinda know nothing about you and your band. I did my homework, and I hope I did it right, but… that’s why we have you here to educate us a bit more about your band.
Cross – Why Spirit In The Room?
Dennis – Why Not?
Cross – Your first single as Spirit In The Room came out in 2013 called Uxia. Great track. You wrote, recorded and performed it yourself. When did you start showing interest about all that?
Dennis – I sang for a lot of bands growing up but never really enjoyed the music. It was never anything I would’ve listened to on my own. So that became the goal. Create music that I would listen to. So I figured out how to do it myself and that’s where I’m at now. The first Spirit in the Room single came out in 2010 and it was a cover of the classic Suicide track “Ghostrider” followed by a song called “Doing Them In”.
Cross – You kept getting singles out there, to name a few: “Sister”, “Click Bait (No Content)”, “Locked (like that one a lot)” with a couple years in-between and after, it became constant. In “Locked” you explained what you used in the process of the making of that song. From guitars to pedals, microphone and all that stuff. Do you have favorite gears that you specifically like to use more often in your songs?
Dennis – As far as gear, Not really. I pretty much just use whatever I have laying around.
Cross – “A Tropical Hell Hole” has a nice bass. What instrument do you like to play more than others?
Dennis – Singing is my favorite thing to do. I also really enjoy playing bass and my 12 string acoustic.
Cross – You have a great voice! “Destroyed By The Future”, a release of three tracks… I’m not sure about the first song of this release but “Godless Woman” and “Gold Teeth Master Massage”, OMG!! What inspires you Dennis?
Dennis – I’m inspired by a lot of things. Human behavior. Animals. Movies. Books. Music etc. Life in general inspires me.
Cross – “The Holy Phobia, PT.1” came before “Destroyed By The Future”, right? They are a bit mixed up on your Bandcamp… That album is dope! Was this all you? It’s a great album. I wish I could place it somewhere but your music is, it’s difficult to place in a frame genre.
Dennis – Thanks! All Spirit in the Room music is me. I write, record, engineer, mix and master everything on my own and then send it to my live band to interpret. The upcoming EP with Housecore will be the first time recording with my live band. Destroyed by the Future was recorded in 2010. The Holy Phobia was recorded and released in 2014.
Cross – Alright! Demon. A very horror-atmosphere work. Everything in that album is called that, followed by a number to name the tracks. Why?
Dennis – Why Not?
Cross – Who does take care of the visual art part of the band?
Dennis – I do.
Cross – How much reading does Dennis do to come up with those lyrics?
Dennis – A good bit. Usually when I’m not writing, recording or working.
Cross – Last year came out VOL.1, the third song of which “The Future Is Immediate”, was with what you guys ended your performance in the En Minor Livestream. (Don’t touch that just yet we’re gonna get to the Livestream soon.) When did you guys start to play live?
Dennis – The first live Spirit in the Room show was in 2011 with a completely different lineup. There have been a few lineup changes through the years. But I strongly feel this current lineup with Phillip Bailey (drums), Kevin Bombay (lead guitar) and Brian Skipwave (guitar, keys) is the strongest and the most dedicated. I am extremely happy with these guys as players and individuals.
Cross – Now we know the full band. “Fucking Hell (Beware You Are)”, was that your first music video? You like clowns, don’t you? (Laughs.)
Dennis – I do. It wasn’t my first Video though. The first official video that I was actually in was for the song “But It Do”. The 2nd was “Sunset Nightmare”. “Fucking Hell” was the 3rd.
Cross – “Medication Blues” is your latest release. Now, how did you get to be in the Housecore Records label? And how did you guys get the deal to be the opening band, for the most depression core band ever En Minor, in the En Minor Livestream?
Dennis – We opened for Scour at the The Whiskey in Los Angeles at the end of 2018. Before that, Stephen Taylor (Philip’s right hand man) sported one of our shirts in the PHA & The Illegals video for “Finger Me”. I did a project with a couple of the Scour boys a few years ago as well. All of this I guess caught Kate and Philip’s attention and yeah. Now we’re here. Extremely grateful to the entire Housecore family.
Cross – Awesome! You guys started right after the EraserHead soundtrack “In Heaven Everything is Fine”. One of my favorite horror films, the soundtrack as well. I thought it was part of the song you guys opened with but I’ve listened to everything you have on Bandcamp and that wasn’t there. Who decided that to be the connection from the atmosphere of that amazing tree and graveyards to Spirit In The Room?
Dennis – That’s the intro for all of our live shows. We love David Lynch. Eraserhead is a great film and that song has stuck with me ever since I was a kid.
Cross – I didn’t know that but hey! Great choice. Btw how much of a horror film fan are you Dennis?
Dennis – I’m a huge Horror fan. Definitely an inspiration in my life.
Cross – Were you guys in the same building during the livestream? The stage didn’t look the same. But again, it changed for En Minor too for “The Older We Get “.
Dennis – No, we recorded our set in Los Angeles.
Cross – Great job though. Are you working on new releases much more now that you are with Housecore Records?
Dennis – I’m always writing and recording. We are currently recording a batch of new songs for our first official Housecore release with producer Manny Nieto (The Breeders, Health, Trash Talk, Los Lobos, Retox, The Chavez Ravine.) at Suplexaudio in Downtown Los Angeles. We love Manny.
Cross – Can’t wait to check that out. Any plans to be part of another Livestream or live show?
Dennis – Yep, we’d love to. I think we should open more Livestreams. Why not? We had a good time. It was weird, but weird is good.
Cross – We enjoyed it. Can you name five albums or songs you’ve been listening to these days?
Dennis – Deadsy – Future Years, Van Halen – Dirty Movies, Sun Ra – We Travel the Spaceways, Portal – The Swayy, Mark Lanegan – Feast to Famine
Cross – Portal yas! Is there anything else you like to do other than write music, Dennis?
Dennis – I love animals. I like collecting and playing with knives. I enjoy hiking and hanging out in my garden. Cooking, eating, drinking. Reading, listening to music, reading. Watching knife videos on YouTube. Avoiding human beings etc etc.
Cross – I agree with you in the last one. Anything else you might like to add?
Dennis – Thank you very much for the support. I’m sincerely grateful. I really appreciate your time.
Cross – Thank you again Dennis! Appreciate it! Follow and support Spirit in the Room: